Posts Tagged ‘Wellness’

Less Stress, More Success!

Monday, August 27th, 2018

Work-related stress is on the increase – due to the modern-day workplace and the demands faced by employees.  With positions becoming far more flexible, individuals are expected to go above and beyond their given roles, and we are finding new job titles and roles developing that were not in existence even 2 years ago. This means learning new skills as well as teaching colleagues, while still trying to complete deadlines.

There is no doubt that a certain amount of stress is a good thing – it helps drive us to be motivated and perform within the workplace. However, the effects of prolonged or excessive stress can include, amongst others, insomnia, anger, decreased appetite, binge eating, withdrawal, obsessive thinking, anxiety, depression and even chronic health conditions such as type II diabetes and asthma.

From a business perspective, putting a driving force behind reducing work stressors will help not only the employees, but also the employers! Excessive stress has been proven to decrease work performance and lead to absenteeism which, in itself, causes more stress! This effects business productivity and increases financial strains to compensate for sick days.

It is therefore in a company’s best interests to develop and implement policies and procedures necessary to provide staff with the skills they need to self-manage the physical and psychological effects of stress. Here are a few ways to combat stress:

Stress Management Training

This is an easy and effective way to help reduce stress in employees and gain a good understanding as to where the stressors are occurring for the employers.

Take a break!

Studies have also shown taking a 5-minute break out of every hour, to walk around and get away from the computer, can help with reducing stress and increasing job performance.

Manage the time you have

Good time management skills will help prioritise work and help reduce stress. By completing tasks which are most necessary, will allow you to prevent feeling overwhelmed, and reduce the risk of the work following you home.

Leave work at work

Checking emails and working from home should be avoided where possible, to keep your home environment calm and relaxing.

Don’t stress alone

If you’re feeling stressed, it is best to share it with someone, who can help you work through it and guide you in the right direction to solve it.

Reducing stress will not only improve the health of our employees and create a better working environment, it will also increase productivity and business gains. It is therefore a win-win for everyone!

Less Stress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voltedge Management

Summer Sizzles

Monday, July 16th, 2018

I’ve completely forgotten what it’s like to have to don the layers before getting on my bike to cycle my short journey to work every day.  My usual routine of wondering if I’m going to get soaked or blown off my bike has been replaced with spending that precious time in the morning slapping on the sunscreen and wondering if I can really cycle in a pair of flip flops!

Summer is certainly here, and aside from the drought like conditions – my grass is yellow, my paddling pool is dry and as for my plant pots – I am basking in the upsides of this unusual phenomenon we are experiencing.  A proper summer!

Have you noticed how happy we all are? It’s amazing the impact the weather has on our wellbeing and after suffering through the long dark, cold winter we are bounding around with energy and positivity that we never knew we had in us.  Well, when we’re not too hot of course. There are downsides too but I’m just going to focus on the upside for now and look at some of the benefits of the SUN.

1. Vitamin D, also known as the Sunshine Vitamin, is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight. It has multiple roles in the body, helping to:

  • Maintain the health of bones and teeth particularly in infants, young children and the elderly.
  • Support the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system.
  • Regulate insulin levels and aid diabetes
  • Support lung function and cardiovascular health.
  • Influence the expression of genes involved in cancer development.
  • Act as a mood enhancer helping to control depression
  • Aid weight loss through increased energy levels

2. Sunlight has a beneficial effect on skin disorders, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), sun exposure might help treat several skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, jaundice and acne.

3. Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. Low levels of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of major depression with seasonal pattern(SAD). This is a form of depression triggered by the changing seasons.

4. The heat of the sun can help reduce the pain caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis by warming up the body’s muscles and easing stiffness.

On top of all of these benefits, the warm sunny weather is encouraging people to get out, get active and get together.  We tend to eat healthier as the body craves fresh lighter foods such as salads and of course the occasional ice cream, all adds to an increase in our wellbeing.

I for one will be savouring these moments.  I do worry about the adverse effects, there is no doubt we will be paying a price for the current run of sunny weather as farmers struggle to maintain crop yields and manage livestock.  Let it rain at night!

Keep safe – Slip, Slop, Slap! Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat.

Ingrid O’Sullivan, Operations Manager

How to Stay Healthy over Christmas

Monday, December 11th, 2017

This time of year, between over-indulging in food and alcohol, late nights, meeting end of year deadlines and the stress and pressure of having everything in place for Christmas can take its toll on us.  It’s easy to lose the run of ourselves and come January we are often feeling burnt out and suffering from the blues.

Here are some tips on how to avoid that January feeling and bounce into 2018 with a smile.

Food

It’s so easy to overeat over Christmas, there are boxes of chocolates and biscuits in the office, lunches and dinners out and at home; we tend to stock up on tasty treats because “hey it’s Christmas”! And yes, we do all deserve to overdo it a little but the key message here is MODERATION.

Instead of saying yes to everything, and mindlessly dipping into the bowls of crisps, sweets, picking off the plates of nibbles and having that extra mince pie – STOP!

Think about what you are eating, enjoy and savour it and then step away.  There are usually some healthy options too, try a few and surprise yourself on how tasty they can be, replenishing your vitamin and mineral levels at the same time.

Tip 1: Food is fuel – the cleaner and purer the more efficient and stronger the body!

Exercise

Running around the shops, traipsing around town and decorating the house is often all the exercise many of us get at Christmas. And yes, it does count but keeping active and getting some fresh air has a huge impact on balancing stress levels and keeping the extra inches at bay.

A brisk walk after a big meal is a great way to keep energised and if you have a current exercise routine don’t put it on hold altogether for the month of December.  Stick with it as much as possible and come January the thought of going back to the gym, hitting the pavements or signing back up for that Pilates class will not hurt as much.

It’s a great way to get together with friends and family too, organise a hike and a picnic, a turkey sandwich eaten at the top of a mountain cannot be beaten.  And for the really brave and bold a dip in the sea will put a skip in anyone’s step – just be careful!

Tip 2: A fit and active body is one that is truly alive!

Stress

The end of the year can be a hugely stressful time in any work environment.  With deadlines, targets, planning and budgets all top of the agenda the pressure can be at boiling point.  Take stock, prioritise and manage your time efficiently. Plan your day and stick with that plan as best you can.  Be realistic in what you can achieve and be open with your colleagues and managers on your manageable goals.

The same applies for stress at home, financially Christmas can add huge strain so be realistic and don’t spend what you don’t have. Easy to say, but by planning early, taking advantage of offers, pre-Christmas sales and not leaving everything to the last minute you can avoid getting into debt and spending January worrying about bills and expenses.

Tip 3: Take stock, be realistic and plan for a stress-free time.

Alcohol

Mulled wine, bubbles, cocktails and sherry it’s hard to avoid a tipple or two and get a bit merry. Family gatherings and meeting up with friends there’s usually some alcohol on offer and given the festive spirit, well why not!!

But being mindful of what you are drinking is the key to minding yourself.  No one enjoys hangovers and that feeling of dread after one too many and if you are already feeling stressed or a little bit low those feelings are magnified and come become overwhelming.

So, follow the tips of never drinking on an empty stomach (hard to do over Christmas); pace yourself, drink plenty of water and try not to mix your drinks too much. Be aware of how much you are drinking, don’t top up, finish your glass first otherwise you really have no idea how much you have drunk. And remember it is ok to say NO! Your friends and family will be jealous of your clear head the next day.

Tip 4: Have a tipple and be merry just don’t over-do it on the Sherry!

And lastly be mindful of others.  Christmas can be a difficult time for many people, if you know someone is feeling low, lonely or stressed reach out to them. Volunteer to help out at a local centre, fund raising or simply to do a bit of shopping for a neighbour – it will make their day and make you feel good too.

Tip 5: Enjoy, be kind, be safe and be healthy… Happy Christmas!

Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingrid O’Sullivan, Operations Manager